Solano leaders discuss fixing county’s roadways
Solano’s streets need fixing. Period.
Such was the sentiment Friday at a gathering hosted by the Solano Economic Development Corporation.
Roadway conditions have deteriorated since 2002, officials said, and in the last two years alone state funding to address the issue has fallen by $11 million.
Public outreach has revealed that fixing potholes and road safety are residents’ top priorities.
“Cities don’t have enough resources,” emphasized Daryl Halls, executive director of the Solano
Transportation Authority. “They’re doing the best they can.”
The STA estimated 49 percent of Solano’s roads are in poor or at-risk condition, Halls pointed out. Better a dollar spent on maintaining a good road than outlaying $10 to fix a bad road, he said.
Thus far, nine projects have been identified in Vacaville, 10 each in Fairfield and Benicia, seven in Dixon, four in Rio Vista, 12 in Suisun City, 18 in Vallejo and six in rural Solano. But how to fund the projects?
Last October, the STA board, which includes all seven of Solano’s mayors, unanimously requested that the Board of Supervisors consider a local funding source.
Addressed would be:
• Road maintenance and safety projects.
• Mobility issues for seniors and people with disabilities.
• Oversight and accountability.
Thus, the Board agreed to send a half-cent tax measure, aka Measure H, to the voters in June.
The tax could generate about $150-$180 million over five years, Halls said, which would more than double the amount available to fix streets and roads.
Estimated proceeds include:
• Benicia: $1.8 million annually, $9.2 million over five years.
• Dixon: $1.3 million annually, $6.4 million over five years.
• Fairfield: $6.9 million annually, $34.7 million over five years.
• Rio Vista: $458,000 annually, $2.3 million over five years.
• Suisun City: $1.5 million annually, $7.6 million over five years.
• Vacaville: $5.9 million annually, $29.4 million over five years.
• Vallejo: $6.9 million annually, $34.4 million over five years.
• Rural Solano: $5.2 million annually, $26.1 million over five years.
“To not do anything and to not fix anything is not what we were elected to do,” said Dixon Mayor
Jack Batchelor. “This is a good measure. The money comes right back to the city.”
Vacaville Mayor Len Augustine agreed.
“All of our cities have some issue with safety problems,” he said. “We’re behind this together. We need to fix the roads and no one’s going to help us. We need to do this ourselves.”
Solano County Supervisor Jim Spering advised that an oversight committee has been approved. It will include nine members from various groups.